Recent kwiples

Monday 28th of November 2022 Available without prescription™ © 2015
2020 Presidential election The [January 6th] committee did a masterful job of laying out the case [against Trump], but we live in partisan America now, so it's a little like doing standup when half the crowd only speaks Mandarin. No matter how good the material is, it's not going to go over. After all the hearings, the percentage of Americans who thought Trump did nothing wrong went up  three points. That's America now.  Bill Maher, Real Time with Bill Maher, November 4, 2022 © 2022
2022 midterm elections Ben Franklin said our country was a republic, if you can keep it. Well, we can't.  And unless a miracle happens on Tuesday, we didn't. Democracy is  on the ballot, and, unfortunately, it's going to lose. And once it's gone, it's gone. It's not somethng you can change your mind about and reverse. That's gender. Bill Maher. Real Time with Bill Maher, June 3, 2022 © 2022
2022 midterm elections This really is the crossing the Rubicon moment when the election deniers are elected, which is often how countries  slide into authoritarianism — not with tanks in the street, but by electing the people who then have no intention of ever giving it back. Bill Maher, Real Time with Bill Maher, November 4, 2022 © 2022
Affirmative action  In order to get beyond racism, we must first  take account of race. There is no other way.  And in order to treat some persons equally, we must treat them differently. We cannot — we dare not —let the Equal Protection Clause perpetrate racial supremacy. in McCulloch against Maryland, [Chief Justice John Marshall] went on, in words that i think are particularly appropriate for this case, “Let the end be legitimate, let it be within the scope of the Constitution, and all means, all means which are appropriate, which are plainly adopted to that end, which are not prohibited, but consist with the letter and spirit of the Constitution, are constitutional.” Harry Blackmun, Regents of the University of California v. Bakke © 2022
Affirmative action The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race. John Roberts, Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District No. 1, which invalidated integration plans in Seattle and Louisville © 2022
Artificial intelligence We can now reveal things that, in the past, only god knew about, thanks to technology including AI. Mikio Okumura, head of Sompo Holdings, one of Japan's largest insurance companies, launching a product to pay out on dementia and to prevent it by analyzing heartbeats, appetites and sleeping patterns of nursing home residents © 2022
Authoritarianism Despotism hunts in packs. John Keane, The New Despotism © 2022
Authoritarianism Despotisms are top-down pyramids of power that defy political gravity by nurturing the willing subservience and docility of their subjects. John Keane, The New Despotism © 2022
Authoritarianism The slave licenses the master. More than that: the slave likes or perhaps even loves the master. The dynamic is one in which the prey prevaricates and then yields to the predator. Despotism is a form of power that transforms subjects into willing instruments of rulers. Subjects are the proximate cause of their own subjection. Servitude is chosen. People do not lose their liberty; rather, they win their enslavement. John Keane, The New Despotism © 2022
Christianity Better sleep wiih a sober cannibal than a drunken Christian. Ishmael in Moby Dick © 2022
Democracy The remarkable thing about American democracy is this: Just enough of us, on just enough occasions, have chosen not to dismantle democracy but to preserve democracy. Joe Biden, November 2, 2022 © 2022
Government Why will the state tend to grow faster than the economy? First, the economy needs a well-educated and healthy labour force. Second, the services supplied by the state are ones in which it is hard to raise productivity, which tends to make them increasingly expensive. Third, spending on transfers and health will rise with the proportion of the population that is old and infirm. Finally, higher spending on transfers and essential services is also what voters demand. Martin Wolf, Financial Times, November 13, 2022, © 2022
Kwiplers say Count votes in Congress by: 1. Calculating a Member's Proportional Vote (MPV) for each member, as follows: MPV = SPNP / NLRS where: SPNP = State's Percentage of the National Population NLRS = Number of Legislators Representing the State (in that legislature) 2. Totaling “yes” MPVs and “no” MPVs 3. Passing if total MPV is more than 50 OTHERWISE Abolish the Senate © 2019
Manufacturing The factory is a device for making workmen hurry. Aldous Huxley, The Olive Tree  © 2022
Political inequality That year [2018 in Wisconsin], Democrats swept all five statewide races and won 53 percent of votes cast for the state asembly, but the party retained just 36 percent of seats in the chamber. in 2021 … the number of GOP-leaning seats in the state assembly has increased from 61 to 63 out of 99 and from 21 to 23 out of 33 seats in the state senate. Democrats would have to win the statewide vote by 12 points just to get to 50 seats in the assembly. Ari Berman, Mother Jones, October 25, 2022 [Apparently, Republicans there think "Wisconsin" is Algonquian for "gerrymander"] © 2018
Post-2020 Senate shituation 15 states (Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Utah, Wyoming) 2020 population: 40,085,414 Senators: 30 Republicans 1 Senator per 1,336,180 people 1 state (California) 2020 population: 39,368,075 Senators: 2 Democrats 1 Senator per 19,684,037 people 19,684,037 / 1,336,180 = 14.7, therefore: average 15er's vote is worth nearly 15 times a Californian's, a Californian's vote is worth less than 7% of an average 15er's 1 state (Wyoming) 2020 population = 582,328, therefore: 1 Senator per 291,164 Wyomians, a Wyomian's vote is worth 68 times a Californian's, a Californian's vote is worth 1.5% of a Wyomian's  © 2021
Public discourse The effectiveness of citizens’ assemblies  isn't surprising. Have you ever noticed how politicians grow a spine the moment they decide not to run for reelection? Well, a citizens' assembly is a bit like a legislature whose members make a pact barring them from seeking another term in office. The randomly selected members are not beholden to party machinations or outside interests; they are free to speak their mind and vote their conscience. What’s more, unlike elected bodies, these assemblies are chosen to mirror the population, a property that political theorists refer to as descriptive representation. For example, a typical citizens’ assembly has a roughly equal number of men and women … Ariel Procaccia, Scientific American, Nov. 2022 © 2022
Public discourse To summarize, we need a modern-day kleroterion that can select a citizens' assembly that is representative in terms of multiple criteria — and can do so starting from an unrepresentative pool of volunteers. Thankfully, we've progressed from stone slabs to computers, so this problem boils down to the design of the right algorithm. The problem of finding the fairest lottery of the potential assemblies … can be conquered by the right combination of optimization tools. Ariel Procaccia, Scientific American, November 2022 © 2022
Rule by law The lawsuit [filed by Parents' Choice Tennessee, a conservative activist group created specifically for the purpose] may have been designed, in part, to give the impression there was more opposition to Wit & Wisdom [English and Language Arts curriculum] than actually existed.  There are eighteen thousand students in the [Williamson County, Tennessee] district's elementary schools, but according to a district report only thirty-seven people  had complained about the new curriculum. Fourteen of the complainants had no children in the system. Paige Williams, The New Yorker, November 7, 2022 © 2022
Science This is the fundamental difference between the natural sciences and the social sciences; whereas the behavior of material things remains the same whatever men learn about it, the behavior of men is always conditioned by what they know about themselves and the world in which they live. Carl Becker, "The Function of the Social Sciences," in Science and Man, ed. by Ruth N. Anshen © 2022
Snapshot Since time has not been generous with her memory, I had better remind some of the younger readers, and even, thank Heaven, some of the older ones, that Hedda Hopper, in her time a useful starlet, became, in her dotage, a feared columnist  whose value was that she said what she thought, and whose vice was that what she thought didn't amount to much. Hedda Hopper portrayed by Peter Ustinov in Dear Me © 2022
State of the union All this — the disillusionment, the braggadocio, and the advertised and cultivated emancipation from the ideas and conventions of the nineteenth century, the half-hearted hankering after strange foreign gods — was an indication that the spokesmen for the people of the United States were losing some of the old instinctive confidence in themselves, were no longer altogether sure of the high significance of the nation's history, of the superiority of its institutions, or  of the essential rightness of what the nation had  done, was doing, or would in the future be doing. Carl Becker, "What We Didn't Know Hurt Us A Lot" © 2022
State of the union c If you were looking for a three-sentence  summary of American politics in recent years, I think you could do worse than this:  The parties are so different that even seismic events don't change many American minds.  The parties are so closely matched that even minuscule shifts in the electoral winds can blow the country onto a wildly different course. And even in a time of profound economic dislocation, American politics has become  less about which party is good for your wallet  and more about whether the cultural changes of the past 50 years delight or dismay you. Ezra Klein, New York Times, November 12, 2022 © 2022
State of the union c US politics is just getting worse  at a slower rate than those of its adversaries. This makes it the world’s tallest dwarf rather than a giant among nations. Edward Luce, Financial Times, October 14, 2022 © 2022
Trumpists say  I'd hang fucking Pelosi from the lamppost. Stewart Rhodes, founder of the Oath Keepers, January 10, 2021, on not having brought rifles to the attack on the Capitol on January 6 © 2022
Trumpists say I'm going to win the election and I will accept that result.  Kari Lake, 2022 Republican gubernatorial candidate in Arizona, responding to a reporter who asked if she'd concede if she lost the electon [Refusing to commit to honoring election results  is common among Republican candidates in 2022] © 2022
Trumpists say Republicans will never lose another election in Wisconsin after I'm elected governor. Tim Michels, 2022 Republican candidate for governor, who also said he'd consider decertifying Biden's win in Wisconsin in 2020, promising to make Wisconsin “voter proof,” like Putin's Russia and Xi Jinping's China © 2022